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Ricky Nolasco might be the hottest commodity on the market.
On June 29, Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News wrote a fantastic piece about Oakland's vast options at the trade deadline.
In it, Kawakami lists four options: Remain on the current path as is, go all in, go younger as they have the last several years or do a combination and make smaller-scale but still impacting moves.
If you've tracked Beane's moves for the last decade, you're most likely inclined to believe he'll break your heart by moving fan favorites, or he'll make a seemingly insignificant move that pays huge dividends in the short term.
No one knows what the man will do.
But why not make a huge move? Last season, the A's went to Game 5 of the ALDS against the Detroit Tigers, who eventually went on to the World Series. This season, those same A's are even better.
They can compete with the Tigers, the Los Angeles Angels and the Texas Rangers. They can beat strong National League teams like the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds. Oakland is—though it feels odd to say—on the verge of being a powerhouse. They're just one piece away from domination.
So again, why not make a move that puts this team over the top? Try for this year.
The fans definitely deserve it. The stadium would see a spike in attendance, which is good for everyone involved. And free agents next year will be more inclined to want to sign in Oakland. (Seriously, how many times can the A's make offers to Lance Berkman and Adrian Beltre, only to get spurned?)
Oakland can swing a killer deal for a top-notch starting pitcher (Ricky Nolasco anyone?) with a package built around Sonny Gray (perhaps including Grant Green and Raul Alcantara).
It wouldn't be devastating to the farm league, and it'd put the A's in fantastic position to go deep into the playoffs, if not the World Series.
Maybe Nolasco's $11.5 million price tag is too high (h/t: Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com). Maybe $3 million Bud Norris does the job. Right in between the two is $6 million Scott Feldman.
The smaller salaries make some of these guys even more attractive, increasing the competition.
How amazing would it be to see the A's pull the trigger, take a risk and land themselves a superstar?
It might just happen.